Computer programmers code instructions they receive from engineers and software developers into commands the computer can interpret and perform. After they have created the program, they must debug, or fix errors in, the code by comprehensive testing and design. Their duties include being able to write code in a plethora of languages, be able to update existing code, debug code, use CASE software to help the write code, and use code libraries. Computer programmers work closely with software designers or, in some cases, work as a software designer by planning applications, modeling code, writing code and debugging code. Programs can take anywhere from a few days to over a year to process depending on the size of the project.
Skills and Education:
In order to pursue a career in computer programming, a person must have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another related field in most cases. Some companies, however, will hire a person with an associate’s degree. Computer programmers only know a few languages out of college but their degree gives them the skills to easily learn many other programming languages. Often, computer programmers continue their education to keep up wit the growing technological field.
The median earnings for a computer programmer in May 2012 was $74,280 with the top 10 percent earning a median wage of $117,890 and the lowest 10 percent earning $42,850.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Computer Programmer, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm (visited 5 may 2015).